After the recent sacking of Unai Emery and appointment of Mikel Arteta in his place, there seems to be a ray of hope for the Gunners. The Gunners have struggled critically in the back for quite some time now. After an exciting summer transfer window which was full of hope, their big dreams quickly vanished and just three months into the season, it was time for Unai Emery to face the music as he was sacked amid an awful run of form.

Ex-Arsenal legend, Nigel Winterburn, also had to critique the Gunners claiming, “defensively they’re still not looking as strong as they should be and there’s obviously still areas that they’ve got to work on”.

Although, signs of improvement are emerging as Arsenal managed to beat Manchester United on New Year’s Day with a 2-0 win. That being said, it seems Arteta has strategies and plans in mind for the Gunners and seems to be eyeing three potential transfers for the upcoming January transfer window. Fortunately, he’s also been given a £30m kitty to play with.

Merih Demiral – Juventus

Mikel Arteta is said to be seeking support at the back, with his team letting in 30 goals already this season – the joint-most of any team in the top half of the table. Thus, the Gunners will target Juventus defender Merih Demiral in the January transfer window as they look to solve their defensive problems, according to reports.

Although Arsenal signed Kieran Tierney and David Luiz last summer, they are far from resolving their huge defence issue. Their backline still looks a way off of being solid, and 21-year-old Demiral could be the answer to their woes. The Turkish star is rising to prominence in Turin this season, starting the last four games in a row under Maurizio Sarri.

Dayot Upamecano – RB Leipzig

After Chamber’s knee injury which demands even more defender signings, Arteta also has his eye on Upamecano from Leipzig. However, Arsenal look set to miss out on Dayot Upamecano after RB Leipzig slapped an £80million transfer fee on the defender.

And no wonder Upamecano has such a hefty price tag. He made 22 appearances in all competitions for Leipzig, which helped them into the top four in the Bundesliga and into next season’s Champions League. It remains to be seen whether the Gunners will return in the summer transfer window for the defender, with William Saliba set to return to the club from a season-long loan from Saint-Etienne.

Jarrad Branthwaite – League Two Carlisle

Carlisle United defender Jarrad Branthwaite is a man in demand and Arsenal seem very keen in signing the defender. Branthwaite, 17, has come up through the ranks with hometown club Carlisle, and his performances have attracted major interest.

The giant centre back is already excelling in League Two, and it’s no great surprise that the biggest British clubs are looking to sign him. It may be a bit of war as to who gets to sign the young talent since The News and Star report that Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Leicester City, Celtic and Rangers are all interested in signing Branthwaite, who looks set for a bright future.